HBO’s The Last of Us is pulling on those heartstrings again in episode 5 and we reveal if actor, Keivonn Woodard, is deaf in real life and confirm how old Sam is.

Episode 5 saw chaos ensue in Kansas City with Kathleen at the helm and we also saw a game-accurate bond form between Ellie and Sam.

Created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann for HBO and based on the 2013 video game of the same name by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us series follows smuggler Joel who must escort teenager Ellie across a post-apocalyptic America ridden with infected creatures.

Is Keivonn Woodard deaf in real life?

Yes, The Last of Us’ Sam actor, Keivonn Woodard, is deaf in real life and was cast in the role following a creative change to the character in the adaptation.

In the Naughty Dog game, Sam is not deaf, but Craig Mazin and his team decided to make this change that later had the game’s director, Druckmann, wishing he had thought of it first.

In HBO Max’s behind-the-scenes look at episode 5, Druckmann weighed in on the character change and the video also showed the rest of the cast learning ASL (American Sign Language) in order to communicate with Woodard.

In an interview with TV Guide, Lamar Johnson, who plays Henry, talked about learning ASL in order to make Henry and Sam feel as genuine as possible:

“I started taking lessons as soon as possible. Leading up to and even during filming I would be training, and I’d be working on my sign so that it can feel as organic as possible. Especially with Keivonn — Sam, being deaf in real life — I really wanted that communication to feel organic and authentic.”

How old is Sam in The Last of Us?

In the original game, Sam is 13 years old, while his brother is 25 years old.

However, the HBO adaptation changed Sam’s age, making him younger at 8 years old.

Henry’s age is not mentioned in the series, but we can assume that he is around the same age as his video game counterpart.

Keivonn Woodard as Sam wearing a yellow and blue jacket with red paint around his eyes in The Last of Us HBO
The Last of Us HBO – Cr. Liane Hentscher/HBO/?? 2022. Warner Media, LLC

How many episodes in The Last of Us? Episode 6 preview

The Last of Us is confirmed to have nine episodes within its first season on HBO and HBO Max, and each entry will be released on Sundays.

HBO’s release schedule confirms the season finale will take place on March 12, 2023, and the next episode, episode 6, will air on February 19, 2023.

Episode 6 will finally see Joel reunite with his brother, Tommy, as he and Ellie arrive at a new camp.

The Last of Us episode guide and release schedule lets you know when every episode airs, along with titles as they are announced.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

The Last of Us is now showing on HBO and HBO Max.

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